WaterShapes

The web site for all professionals and consumers who've made or want to make water a part of their lives

2015/12.2, December 16 -- Holiday Fun, Brilliant Mirrors, Old-School Decking and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        December 16, 2015                                                                                          www.watershapes.com

INTERVIEW
     
Santa's Back!                                       

Five years after his first amazing WaterShapes interview, Santa Claus reached out to our staff once again, saying he had another sled's worth of encouraging words to offer the hard-working, creative, innovative watershapers he's been watching the world over.   [more]

WHAT IS IT?
#21:  Exposed-Aggregate Decking

It's an old-school material and 'retro' look these days, but Mike Farley keeps coming across applications in which using exposed-aggregate decking is the ideal solution.  In the case of the project covered in this video, it didn't hurt that it was also the obvious solution.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE

A Supple Vision
 
While rambling through New York's Central Park many years ago, Jim McCloskey crossed paths with three fair maidens -- a wonderful fountain composition well worth seeing for yourself the next time work or pleasure carries you near the heart of the Big Apple.    [more]

ESSENTIAL
A Clear, Clean Public Service          

The structures and grounds at the Cross Valley Water District's headquarters in Clearview, Wash., stand as a prime example of how a public facility can send important messages to the community about responsible environmental stewardship.  According to landscape architect Sandra Hasegawa Ingalls, the project's watershape is a key element in a broad program that makes this facility what she hopes is a model for others to come.  


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in January 2003, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Graceful Reflections

Water's reflective nature is a part of watershaping that is all too often left to chance, observes Anthony Archer Wills.  But when considered from the outset of a project, the brilliance and subtlety of a reflection is something he says you can use to delight and fascinate your clients.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Three Year-End Smiles

Wrapping up the old year in style, Jim McCloskey reviews three news items that caught his eye recently -- and speculates about how wonderful it would be if these and other stories persuaded all of us recognize some deeper values watershapes can bring to our lives.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Where There's a Will Dept.:  Canadian quartet crafts a floating hot tub -- complete with a pig roaster.  [more]
Now they seek a Guinness record for hot tub sailing.

 

Self-Motivation Dept.:  Intrepid 'snow swimmer' may inspire a whole new field of sporting endeavor.   [more] 
One hopes the Olympics will see the merits of his 'event.'       

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Choosing Wisely          
 
In the December 2010 issue of WaterShapes, Bruce Zaretsky devoted his On the Level column to defining how he keeps up with changes that seem to be an inevitable part of one key area of his business.   [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
New Viron P300 Variable-Speed Pump from AstralPool 

AstralPool (Jacksonville, FL) produces the Viron P300 variable-speed pump.  Featuring a housing that offers near-silent operation and a permanent-magnet, brushless DC motor designed to decrease operating costs, the pump adapts to the task at hand while reducing wear and tear on filters, heaters, chlorinators and other system components.  For details, click here.
 
DeltaUV Unveils E-Series Ultraviolet Systems  
    
Delta UV (Gardena, CA) has released its E-Series of low-pressure, high-output ultraviolet systems for water disinfection.  Featuring Clean Light Technology, the easy-to-install units come with either stainless steel or PVC housings; have lamps that last up to 16,000 hours; and are available in five sizes for flow rates from 31 to 110 gallons per minute.  For details, click  here.   
WPN UPDATE
New Features
Coming in 2016
The WaterShapes Professional Network team has been busy preparing two key features for the New Year:  Starting in January, WPN members will be able to list awards and professional affiliations as part of their landing pages.  By March, we'll be ready to accommodate biographical information on each company's key personnel -- a major credibility- and trust-building opportunity in reaching out to consumers.

The Network is growing:  Shouldn't you be climbing aboard?

2015/12.1, December 2 -- Access Assistance, Distant Projects, Duck Ponds and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        December 2, 2015                                                                                                    www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Working on the Road    

Completing a project at any real distance from your home base is tough, notes Barry Justus.  But with careful project management and planning, it's possible to make it work -- even if the job site is three long hours away and you get started while there's still snow on the ground.    [more]
VIDEO GALLERY
Web-Footed Wonderland

If you've penned in a large and growing group of assorted waterfowl, notes Mike Gannon, there comes a time when a big pond will be required.  Here's a look at the special considerations and features involved in shaping these unique aquatic environments.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Functional Aesthetics
 
A designer's responsibility for the look of a project doesn't vanish when a client has special needs and requires ready access to the water, writes Paolo Benedetti.  Here, he runs through some options that ease the way in and out of a watershape while still pleasing the eye.    [more]

ESSENTIAL
Back to the Garden               

As a design concept, Japanese gardens know no cultural or geographic borders:  Elements of this style of garden design have been exported throughout the world to shape exterior spaces of all sorts in both public and private settings. Here, landscape designer Elizabeth Navas Finley discusses the underlying principles of Japanese gardens, defining ways in which this simple approach to designing spaces can be put to use across a spectrum of applications.


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in December 1999, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TRAVELOGUE
Sealing the Deal

The Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas encompasses a range of elaborate watershapes -- lakes, fountains, a rock-waterfall mountain and a host of pools and spas.  His company waterproofed these systems, writes Tim Eorgan, to make them a gorgeous attraction when you visit Sin City.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Remembering a Friend

There was a lot going on at this year's International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo, writes Jim McCloskey -- and more than enough by way of new and interesting products that it made him think back to conversations he once had with a long-departed friend and enduring industry icon.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Paying It Forward Dept.:  Fashion house Fendi agrees to fund restoration of four more fountains in Rome.   [more]
Saving Trevi Fountain apparently just wasn't enough!

 

Making It Deeper Dept.:  The race is on, with England outdigging Italy to build another super-deep pool.   [more] 
At 50 meters, it's a cut way below other research plunges.      

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Commercial Constraints         
 
In his Aqua Culture column of December 2005, Brian Van Bower highlighted a reversal in the way innovations were flowing -- and saw it as a challenge that needed to be addressed.   [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Custom Molded Products Introduces LED Laminars  

Custom Molded Products (Tyrone, GA) has launched a laminar jet system featuring advanced LED lighting, a synchronizing system and a prefilter for use around pools.  Designed for a balance of performance and reliability, the units have precision stainless steel nozzles and a flow system that minimizes turbulence for a glass-like laminar flow.  For details, click here
  
Waterplay Solutions Offers 'Cirque' Aquatic Features 
    
WPN UPDATE
Making Space
for Badges     
 
Within the next few days, the 50 companies currently participating in the WaterShapes Professional Network will be asked to place the WPN-member badge on their own web site's home pages -- a crucial step that will jump-start the network's consumer-reaching capability.  With those key links in place, the WPN site will be of much greater interest to search engines and therefore much easier for consumers to find.  That means more clicks, more leads, more benefits to membership.

The Network is growing:  Shouldn't you be climbing aboard?

2015/11.2, November 18 -- Rooftop Misadventures, Mid-Century Revisions, Artful Fountain and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        November 18, 2015                                                                                                 www.watershapes.com

UP ON THE ROOF
     
Overhead Defects                                       

When things go wrong with rooftop pools and spas, the potential for collateral damage is so great that things get urgent in a hurry -- a point Rob Holmer illustrates through two case studies in which basic errors led to big hassles in one instance and demolition in the other.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE
Remaking a Classic

Restoring the pool and adding a spa to a classic Mid-Century Modern home took care and restraint, observes Jimmy Reed,  But his task was made easier by an insightful, cooperative client with excellent tastes, a eye for detail and a healthy spirit of adventure.  [more]

TRAVELOGUE

Mist and Mystery
 
It isn't too often that Jim McCloskey comes across a watershape that is truly different -- something he's never even considered before.  That's why he was so happy to find this one while visiting the campus of a famous eastern university on a  warm summer's day.    [more]

ESSENTIAL
Elegant Intentions              

From time to time, says David Tisherman, you run into a design in which 'restraint' is the watchword.  That was certainly true in this project, where he found an elegant English manor home and has given it a pool that looks as though it's been there for a hundred years.  Far less restrained, however, is the structure that holds the watershape in place -- and does so without applying any extra pressure to a huge retaining wall that stands just a few feet away.

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in November 2008, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Simple Transparency

With naturalistic watergardens, there's often a tolerance for green or murky water.  But Anthony Archer Wills suggests that crystal-clear water in streams and ponds enables watershapers to add extra dimension to their projects in the form of vivid underwater landscapes  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
An Expo with a Difference

When he headed off to this year's Pool|Spa|Patio Expo, Jim McCloskey knew it would be momentous if for no other reason than people would be interested in learning what the merger of two key educational entities will mean to the key industry sectors they serve.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Unusual Efficiency Dept.:  Vietnamese lakes being purified with the assistance of exercise bikes.  [more]
System brings new meaning to getting 'pumped up.'

 

Wonderful News Dept.:  Rome's Trevi Fountain has reopened after an extensive restoration project.  [more] 
Sixteen-month effort was funded by fashion's Fendi.      

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Speaking to Authority        
 
In his Currents column of November 2010, Dave Peterson addressed the suction-entrapment issue with a simple question about whether a common feature of modern pools and spas is really needed.   [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Custom Molded Products Introduces LED Laminars  

Custom Molded Products (Tyrone, GA) has launched a laminar jet system featuring advanced LED lighting, a synchronizing system and a prefilter for use around pools.  Designed for a balance of performance and reliability, the units have precision stainless steel nozzles and a flow system that minimizes turbulence for a glass-like laminar flow.  For details, click here.  
 
Waterplay Solutions Offers 'Cirque' Aquatic Features 
    
WPN UPDATE
Badge of
Distinction     
 

Within the next few weeks, the 50 current members of the the WaterShapes Professional Network will be adding the Network's badge to the home pages of their web sites -- a mark of distinction that will benefit every member by raising their search-engine profiles and creating WPN's collective presence on the Internet.  It means more traffic, more clicks and more contacts with aquatically
motivated consumers. 
 
The Network is growing:  Isn't it time to climb aboard? 

Click here to have a look! 

2015/11.1, November 4 -- Durable Plaster, Rooftop Dynamics, Courtyard Charms and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        November 4, 2015                                                                                                          www.watershapes.com
UP ON THE ROOF
     
Elevated Engineering                                       

Rooftop swimming pools and spas offer breathtaking views, writes Rob Holmer, but they also tend to come with an array of unique challenges.  Here, he discusses how knowing the forces at work on elevated concrete shells will help when it comes to getting things just right.   [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
Intersecting Sensibilities

Transforming a small front yard into a tranquil, meditative retreat can be a great way to expand usable living space, observes Ketti Kupper.  It can also, as she demonstrates here, turn a compact courtyard into an art gallery and a stage for personal expression.   [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Durable Pool Plaster, Revisited
 
Five years ago, Kim Skinner wrote about what was involved in making pool plaster durable.  A lot has come to light and been studied and evaluated since then, he says -- more than enough to warrant preparation of a detailed, side-by-side update on the subject.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Great Lengths             

From Pebble Beach to Augusta National, water and the game of golf share a storied history -- and the relationship is growing even closer, says landscape architect and watershaper Ken Alperstein of Pinnacle Design.  As new courses compete for major tournaments and real estate sales on adjoining properties, course architects are using streams, ponds and lakes to make aesthetic statements and are giving watershapers a chance to work on the grandest scale.  


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in March 2001, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TRAVELOGUE
New World Impressions

Throughout history, stone has been used to create structures of enduring beauty -- some of them icons the world over.  But others, including many found in Central America, are relatively unfamiliar and, notes Bobbie Schwartz, are definitely worth a visit.    [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
A Personal Invitation

The International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo is a great place to catch up with friends, make new acquaintances and exchange ideas, writes Jim McCloskey.  That's why he's inviting you to visit the WaterShapes booth to chat about what's on your mind -- and his.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Crime and Enjoyment Dept.:  Truck with a makeshift pool (and three women) in its bed pulled over by police.  [more]
Something about the sloshing caught the cop's eye.

 

Ancient Innovations Dept.:  Getting around drought conditions was an elaborate way of life in India.   [more] 
I can't escape being fascinated by these step wells..      

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Broad Boundaries       
 
In his Aqua Culture column for November 2010, Brian Van Bower
wrote about a growing influence on both his creative and business outlooks -- something that had him thinking big.    [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
ClearWater Tech Releases CD30nx Ozone Generator        
  
Bobé Offers Grass Edging for Perimeter Overflows       
    
WPN UPDATE
A Special Offer
for Expo Visitors     
 
Our Once-in-a-Lifetime Sale may be over, but if you stop by the WaterShapes booth (#1065 in the Genesis 3 Pavilion) during the International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo and hand us a business card, we'll honor the ridiculously low introductory rate of $100 for your first year's membership in the WaterShapes Professional Network.  (See Jim McCloskey's WaterShapes World blog above for details.)

The Network is growing:  Shouldn't you be climbing aboard?

2015/10.2, October 21 -- A Royal Renovation, Gardens Abroad, Edge Design and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        October 21, 2015                                                                                        www.watershapes.com
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
The Weight of History                                        

Working on big restoration projects is always a challenge, but when the subject fountain is 300 years old and the setting is the famous Gardens of Versailles?  Well, says David L'Heureux, it takes care, professionalism -- and a determination to perform at the very highest level.   [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
English Lessons

Travel and garden tours are a great way to improve design knowledge and skills:  All the ideas and inspiration drawn from the work of other times and cultures can be brought home, suggests Gail Fanning, and used to differentiate your work from that of stay-at-home competitors.    [more]
TRAVELOGUE

Aquatic Ceremony
 
Chicago has long been one of his favorite cities, writes Jim McCloskey.  He's particularly fond of the Art Institute's galleries and it's museum shop, but he's also a fan of a classic allegorical representation of the Great Lakes just outside -- among his many stops on visits there.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Winds of Life            

Successful public art serves many purposes, observes glass sculptor John Gilbert Luebtow:  Through form, location, materials and aesthetics, these works can inspire, soothe, excite, guide and enrich the day-to-day experiences of those who see them.  True to this vision, he pursued all of those qualities in a recent project -- one in which he graced a busy plaza with a sublime sculpture that will elevate the spirits of passersby for generations to come.

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in October 2008, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Sculpting Edges

The art of crafting visually pleasing bodies of water calls for understanding and applying the right transitions from a pond to terra firma, says Anthony Archer Wills.  Here, he shares techniques he uses to create looks that draw observers to explore the wonders at water's edge.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Community Imperatives

We can all agree that learning to swim is important, writes Jim McCloskey.  But is it important enough, he asks, to prompt watershapers to step back, think things through and develop all-new ways to make and keep pools accessible for those who need those lessons?    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Wow-Factor Innovations Dept.:  Tesla owner uses a waterfall to recharge his car's batteries.   [more]
Is there a future for backyard hydroelectric plants?

 

Now You See It Dept.:  Is this little girl jumping into the pool -- or is she just a sign of the Internet's silliness?   [more] 
Hard to believe this image went viral and stayed that way.      

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
For the Love of Beauty      
 
In his Details column of October 2015, David Tisherman railed against a certain mentality he'd observed all too often among designers and builders.  To discover the object of his passion, click here.    [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Brilliant Wonders from Custom Molded Products            

Custom Molded Products
(Tyrone, GA) manufactures Brilliant Wonders, a waterfall system with built-in LED lighting.  Each easy-to-install, easy-to-service unit features a sawtooth edge to churn the water and enhance sound effects.  The LEDs can be synchronized across multiple waterfalls and are intense enough to work both night and day.  For details, click
here.  
  
AstralPool Offers the Viron Gas Pool/Spa Heater       
    
AstralPool (Jacksonville, FL) manufactures the Viron gas heater for residential swimming pools and spas.  Designed using heat-on-demand technology, the compact units feature operating efficiencies of up to 97 percent; save up to 20 percent on operating costs; and adjust burner levels to hold the water to within one degree of the desired temperature.  For details, click here.   
WPN UPDATE
WPN's Once-in-a-
Lifetime Introductory Rate Expires Soon!    
 
For ten more days, you can still sign on with the WaterShapes Professional Network at a Once-in-a-Lifetime Rate that you'll never, ever see again -- just $100 for the first year!  This unbeatable offer will get you going as part of our new marketing service, which will bring you into quick, easy contact with consumers who want to make watershapes a part of their lives.  Details of the offer are available when you go to the 'Create Your Listing' button on the upper right hand corner of WPN's home page:  To get there, click here!

And please don't delay:  This offer must expire October 31!

2015/10.1, October 7 -- Construction Nightmares, Pond Rehabs, Glorious Tile and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        October 7, 2015                                                                                                     www.watershapes.com

LESSONS LEARNED
     
Expansive Errors                                        

If there's one big mistake on a pool/spa installation, writes Scott Cohen, correcting the situation can be painful.  But if there are seven major errors -- as there were in the ill-fated project discussed here -- you can bet the pain will also include close encounters with attorneys.   [more]
VIDEO GALLERY
Double Play

When a good pond goes bad, says Mike Gannon, the best way to correct its problems often involves adding a new pond alongside the original.  As this video shows, the extra watershape helps heal the old one by serving as its biofilter, aerator and beautifying companion.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Let's Do It!
 
'Breathtaking' is the best word to describe both this project and the leap Jimmy Reed took in persuading the client that the tile-installation part of this huge job -- which was to involve application of thousands of square feet of glass tile to ten unique pools -- was just a piece of cake.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Stars on the Wetlands           

If there was ever a project that underscored the notion that 'backyard swimming pools' aren't what they used to be, this one by Ron Gibbons and his Islip, N.Y.-based company is the perfect choice:  Built with a dizzying range of functional and aesthetic features, the project was the combined effort of a client whose budget and ambitions were well matched with the talents and resources of a gifted designer/builder. 


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in May 2002, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TRAVELOGUE
Cooling the Flock

Boston's First Church of Christ, Scientist, is well known for its original design -- and for the spontaneous child's play that has developed in the facility's deck-level fountain.  Here, John Copley and Lynn Wolff show why it's a must-see the next time you visit the Bay State.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Industrial-Strength Milestones

Reflecting on his long involvement with watershaping in all of its forms, Jim McCloskey has identified a set of key turning points -- historic milestones that define what the pond, fountain and pool segments have become in the course of the past three decades.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

If You Can't Bleat 'Em Dept.:  Herd of goats helps a Georgia town save big on pond maintenance.   [more]
Mowing the verges is no longer such a messy issue.

 

Alcohol and Culture Dept.:  Six British architects fined for stripping, cavorting in historic Roman fountain.   [more] 
It'd never happen back home -- water would be too cold!     

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Life at the High End     
 
Back in 2005, Brian Van Bower addressed a collection of issues and considerations intended to help watershapers figure out how to break through and serve clients on an elevated plane.      [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Flexible Hardscape Basins from Atlantic Water Gardens            

Atlantic Water Gardens
(Mantua, OH) has launched a line of flexible hardscape basins.  Designed for use in formal waterfeatures that include open basins (particularly custom block reservoirs for which frost-proofing is a concern), the UV-resistant units are available in tan or grey in four-, six- and eight-foot widths and include pre-punched bulkhead fittings.  For details, click  here.  
  
Brilliant Wonders from Custom Molded Products      
    
Custom Molded Products (Tyrone, GA) manufactures Brilliant Wonders, a waterfall system with built-in LED lighting.  Each easy-to-install, easy-to-service unit features a sawtooth edge to churn the water and enhance sound effects; the LEDs can be synchronized across multiple waterfalls and are intense enough to work both night and day.  For details, click  here.   
WPN UPDATE
Join WPN today at
a Once-in-a-Lifetime Introductory Rate    
 
For a limited time only, you can sign on with the WaterShapes Professional Network at a Once-in-a-Lifetime Rate that you'll never, ever see again -- just $100 for the first year!  This unbeatable offer will get you going as part of our new marketing service, which will bring you into quick, easy contact with consumers who want to make watershapes part of their lives.  Details of the offer are available when you go to the 'Create Your Listing' button on the upper right hand corner of WPN's home page:  Click here!

And please don't delay:  This offer is too good to last much longer!

2015/9.2, September 23 -- Overflowing Consequences, Heater Talk, Small-Site Potential and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        September 23, 2015                                                                                            www.watershapes.com
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
A Lesson in Communication                                        
When he builds custom pools for fully engaged homeowners, Randy Beard usually has no problems with setting and exceeding expectations.  But here's a case where the client just couldn't absorb a key message about how to use the pool -- and therein hangs a tale.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE
Heat of the Moment

Those who own or manage swimming pools know that heating the water can be a major expense.  But higher efficiencies and new technologies can bring those costs way down, says Mike Fowler, who leads a tour through the money-saving possibilities in this article.  [more]
TRAVELOGUE

Floating in Style
 
His admiration for a particular architect's work led Jim McCloskey to make a pilgrimage to one of the master's most esteemed projects -- a Spanish pavilion that any watershaper should place on his or her must-visit list the next time the international-travel bug bites.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Down to Size          

In recent years, many of his clients have asked southern California pond/stream specialist Steve Sandalis to provide them with watershapes that are relatively modest in size -- but that are still long on beauty, value and enjoyment.  He explores this trend here, profiling a showcase-home project that demonstrates the creative potential (as well as the challenges) embodied in systems where a little bit less can add up to a whole lot more.

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in July 2011, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Protective Measures

Paolo Benedetti is always refining the ways in which he prevents the damage that weather and wear can do to the concrete materials he uses in his watershaping projects.  Here, in his second article on construction with durability in mind, he looks at 'fortifying' concrete.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
The Way-Back Machine

Changes in the way public pools are conceived, designed, programmed and used these days have been very much on Jim McCloskey's mind  -- and have him trying to figure out what these different directions and possibilities might say about watershaping's future. [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Good Cause Dept.:  Ohio waterpark fills a pool with soccer balls to raise money for cancer research.   [more]
Great idea!  But is that the Eiffel Tower in the background?

 

It Takes a Pond Dept.:  Indian village finds a practical solution to its drought and food-supply issues.   [more] 
Simple aquatic solutions in a tough, fast-changing world.    

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
When Fall's in the Air    
 
Selecting plants for spaces around watershapes can be a challenge, wrote Stephanie Rose in September 2000 -- but you can help things along by considering a few key factors right from the start.   [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Synchronorm Offers Depence Fountain-Design Software           

Synchronorm
(Bremen, Germany) publishes Depence, a software system that aids in the design and programming of professional fountain shows and displays.  Featuring a three-dimensional visualization system that can simulate fountain, laser, video and lighting details with real-time accuracy, the system allows for one-click fountain-height adjustments.  For details, click here.  
  
New Variable-Speed Pump from Speck Pumps     
    
Speck Pumps (Jacksonville, FL) has introduced the Badu EcoM3 V, a variable-speed pump that uses a permanent-magnet, brushless DC motor controlled by advanced logic electronics.  Designed to reduce operating costs by up to 80 percent, the low-noise, non-corroding, medium-head units can be used in pools with salt concentrations up to 5,000 ppm.  For details, click here.   
WPN UPDATE
WPN to Offer Special Introductory Rate     
Watch your email box!  On October 1, we at WPN will be sending you a once-in-a-lifetime deal to get you involved with the WaterShapes Professional Network, the new service designed to bring you into quick, easy contact with consumers who want to make watershapes part of their lives.  Details of the offer will all be included in the email! 

Please click here to visit the WPN site and take a look at what we're already doing -- and there's much, much more on the way!

2015/9.1, September 9 -- Plaster Start-Ups, Cascading Precision, Winter Work and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        September 9, 2015                                                                                             www.watershapes.com
 
START-UP DYNAMICS
     
Happy Plaster                                        

Those who start up newly finished pools and spas typically use one of three recognized approaches in adding the water, notes Kim Skinner.  Here, in the second of two articles on the subject, he focuses on the method he sees as offering the best shot at durable success.    [more]
CASCADE CREATION
On the Edge

As any project comes to a close, Eric Triplett likes to reflect on how things have come together.  That's often fun, but as he suggests in this video, it can also be somewhat bittersweet when you finish your work and have to leave it to others to come on site to complete the picture.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Winter's Work
 
For many years, Bruce Zaretsky faced the annual need to generate enough income to keep his business and his staff going through New York's long, cold winters.  Here's a look at few of the most successful sidelines he found in his quest to keep the seasonal wolves at bay.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Interior Dynamics         

A room that encloses an indoor swimming pool and does it well -- by staying comfortable throughout the year, for starters, while also being easy on the eye -- is something truly marvelous, says interior-watershape designer Kevin Ruddy.  He addresses the aesthetic side of the challenge here, discussing materials of construction, finishes and what it takes to make pool enclosures stand up to moisture as well as the scrutiny of design-conscious clients.


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in January 2004, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TRAVELOGUE
At Play in the Fountain of Life

The project was all about scale and patience in design, engineering and construction, but that was only part of the story.  As Eric Dobbs relates, this desert landmark in California is full of  playfulness and whimsy -- and visiting it will help you forget the sun's blistering rays.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
My Digital Confession

A brief meeting at a trade show last fall led to a collaboration that has changed the way Jim McCloskey looks at watershape design.  As he relates here,  the experience has led him to rethink some long-held beliefs and open his eyes to new possibilities.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Questionable Taste Dept.:  A new Swedish pool's cheeky name pointedly recalls a WWII naval disaster.   [more]
Sounds like 'Pearl Harbor' -- maybe not the best option?

 

Perfectly Reasonable Dept.:  Need an arboreal breather?  Look no further than your own hammock hot tub!   [more] 
How long until it comes with it's own pop-up television?   

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Living in Color   
 
Color is one thing, wrote David Tisherman in his Details column of September 2005, but color used correctly is quite another -- and a key to a client's long-term satisfaction with a watershaping project.    [more]  
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Bobé Water & Fire Features Offers Perfect Flame          

Bobé Water & Fire Features
(Phoenix, AZ) has introduced the Perfect Flame, a modular system that allows for the creation of custom fire patterns.  Engineered to produce effects that are substantially larger than those produced by common fire rings, the units are made of stainless steel and brass and work with either manual or automatic ignition systems.  For details, click here
  
Zodiac Launches New Jandy Pro Series Web Site    
    
Zodiac Pool Systems (Vista, CA) has prepared a new Web site for its Jandy Pro Series products.   Jandy.com features a modern user interface, mobile optimization and product recommendations for those looking to build, upgrade or save energy on a pool project and includes catalogs, manuals and user guides for online viewing or downloading.  For details, click here.  
WPN UPDATE
WPN Introduces Home-Page
Photo Features    
 
We've been busy!  Just recently, we put finishing touches on a new home-page feature that enables members of the WaterShapes Professional Network to upload brief pictorials about projects they want to share with consumers who are looking for professional assistance in developing the watershapes of their dreams.  This new addition to the network puts program participants front and center -- the perfect way to grab attention and make contact!  

Please click here to visit the WPN site, then scroll down to see the sample feature we prepared to show what you can achieve with some text and a few images.

2015/8.2, August 19 -- Savvy Recycling, Natural Wandering, Budget-Suited Design and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        August 19, 2015                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com
 
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Salvaged with Care                                        

If you want to lend a dash of authenticity and visual style to a classic property, writes Robert Nonemaker, look no further than local infrastructure projects:  In older areas, they can supply you with salvaged materials well suited to your clients' driveways, decks and poolscapes.    [more]
WHAT IS IT?
#20:  Organic Spa

It's definitely off trend in the context of most of his current projects, notes Mike Farley.  But as he discusses in this video, some of his clients are still bewitched by the romance of lagoon-style, free-form pools -- and in this case, by a wonderfully inviting rock-rimmed spa.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE

Water Emotion
 
Spending a fair amount of time observing the countless active geysers in Yellowstone National Park is a must for idea-seeking watershapers, says Jim McCloskey.  It's so deep and rich in design inspiration that he concludes with a direct motivational cue:  'Just go!'   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Mid-Range Mastery        

Taking inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright and stylistic cues from the client's home, pool designer and builder Michael Nantz worked a bit of backyard magic.  By carefully shaping lines, contours, textures and elevations, he crafted a swimming pool and reflecting pond that balance water with wood, hardscape and landscape -- and accomplished a high-flying design with a decidedly down-to-earth price tag.


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in April/May 2000, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Protect and Serve

Natural stone is beautiful, says watershaper Paolo Benedetti, but sustaining that beauty means taking steps in the installation process to ensure easy maintenance and enduring protection.  Here, he offers a detailed guide to what's involved in locking in the splendor.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Odds -- and Endings

A friend's phone call about the evolving state of the economy prompts Jim McCloskey to reflect on changes he's observed in watershaping businesses -- many of them leaner, tighter, better organized and better led -- and discusses how important these upgrades may be.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Unhappy Trails Dept.:  U.K. couple invites uproar by bathing their horse in a popular public pool.   [more]
It was just a small pony, but it stirred a big reaction.

 

Naturally Superior Dept.:  A British Columbia park offers breathtaking rides down a big rock waterslide.   [more] 
If flumes in backyards looked this good, I'd sure want one!  

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Wanted:  Water Artists  
 
Back in August 2000, Brian Van Bower was inspired to write about watershaping as a unique, creative endeavor -- one he sees as rooted in technology, of course, but also raised by much loftier potential.    [more]  
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Safe-Rain Offers the Waterboy Plus Dry-Fountain Kit         

Safe-Rain
(Toledo, Spain) has introduced Waterboy Plus, a dry-deck fountain kit made of stainless steel and featuring a controllable LED lighting system for creation of easily programmable water and light displays.  Available with or without solenoids for a range of control possibilities, the units include angle correctors for mounting on slopes.  For details, click here.  
  
RicoRock Introduces Structural Grotto/Cave System   
    
RicoRock (Orlando, FL) now offers builders an improved system for adding custom structural grottos and small caves to poolscapes.  The new Component System uses lightweight boulder columns and grotto lids that allow for custom design and installation without intensive labor -- everything from simple waterfall overhangs to swim-in caves.  For details, click here
WPN UPDATE
Welcome All Watershapers!      
Greetings, and welcome to WPN Update! In future editions of WaterShapes, this space will carry brief memos to watershaping professionals -- designers, engineers, builders, subcontractors and consultants -- letting you know what's happening with the WaterShapes Professional Network.  Recently launched by the team at WaterShapes.com, this new marketing service is building unprecedented bridges between watershapers and clients interested in making water part of their lives and environments.
Future notices will be as brief and as to the point as this one:  Watch for them in upcoming newsletters, and please click here to visit the WPN site!

2015/8.1, August 5 -- Digital Engagement, Pond-Free Cascades, All-Tile Remodeling and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        August 5, 2015                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com

 

DIGITAL DESIGN

     

Rising Aspiration                                         


For someone who started out as a pool designer who never visited his clients' backyards, Jeromey Naugle has come a long, long way -- and knows how important a part digital technology has played in his progress as a professional 'paradise expert.'    [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE
Iridescent Perfection

When the goal is glass-tiled perfection, says Jimmy Reed, there's no substitute for the hard work that goes into ideal surface preparation.  And that's especially true when, as in the case highlighted here, the project involves resurfacing an old, deep pool and its odd set of coves.   [more]

CASCADE CREATION

Basin Burdens
 
Pond-free waterfalls are a great boon to backyards where there's insufficient room for an appropriately sized pond, notes Eric Triplett.  But as this video demonstrates, if you build them with skill, patience and a naturalistic spirit, you can make them look as though they belong[more]

ESSENTIAL
The Graceful Dance       

Residential garden and watershape design should be an intensely personal process, says landscape architect and watershaper Michelle Van De Voorde -- one keyed to the needs and desires of the client but balanced by the designer's singular passion for composing exterior spaces.  To demonstrate how this balance takes shape in her own work, she leads us through the thought processes that distinguish a selection of her clients' evocative backyards.


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in July 2005, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Priced Out

In grazing his way around the web, Jim McCloskey has seen lots of articles about municipalities in the process of adding new public pools.  That's great, but there's something about these stories that has led him to formulate and start asking some tough questions.  [more]
TRAVELOGUE
Mile-High Gallop

Located at the entrance to Denver's NFL stadium is a vertical watershape that combines ambitious visual design, massive bronze sculptures, complex cascades, rugged rockwork and delicate alpine landscaping -- well worth a visit, writes watershaper Jim Morris[more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Mixed Messages Dept.:  Energy drink uses waterfeature project to define a role for aquatic professionals.  [more]
Dodge headaches by avoiding ill-fated  D.I.Y. approaches!

 

Clear Messages Dept.:  Why toil?  It's time to kick back and luxuriate in your own hot-tub hammock.   [more] 
Who needs manual labor when life can be so good? 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
The Necessity of Restraint 
 
Back in August 2005, David Tisherman wrote about a tendency shared by many watershapers -- an approach to projects that troubled him and led him to discuss an awareness he thought might help.     [more]  
 

THE SHOPPING CART

 

Lightcraft Publishes 2015 Landscape Lighting Catalog        


Lightcraft Outdoor Environments
(Chatsworth, CA) has released its 2015 product catalog.  The document covers directional flood and spotlights, wall floods, accent and path lights, hanging pendants and candle lights, bistro and string lights and inground well and hardscape lights, along with power supplies, transformers and accessories.  For details, click here

Aquascape Introduces Spillway Bowl Fountains     

 

Aquascape (St. Charles, IL) now offers hand-cast spillway bowls, basins and stands.  Made from glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC), the units have the patina and appearance of handcrafted stone fountains at a fraction of the weight, resulting in easy installation.  In addition, individual units can be linked together to create elaborate displays.  For details, click here


THE AQUATIC QUIZ
ISIS Lists Swimming Pool Rules as
Temperatures Soar in Mosul, Iraq     

By Quizmaster Lenny Giteck

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including  reports connected to the three questions below.

1.  With temperatures supposed to reach 118 degrees in Mosul, Iraq -- the country's fifth-largest city, which is controlled by the so-called Islamic State -- ISIS launched a propaganda campaign aimed at showing how good life is under its rule.  The terrorist organization published a series of photos on social media showing men and boys cooling off in a Mosul swimming pool, with one of the images focusing on a list of rules in effect at the pool.  Which one of the following, according to vocative.com, is not a listed rule?
 

a.  Wear long shorts and a t-shirt b.  Don't swear while swimming
c.  Don't swim with women or infidels d.  Don't swim when you should be praying


2.  Right before the start of an Olympic triathlon qualifier and a Paratriathlon event in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Brazilian government released data showing that "water near where triathletes are preparing to compete this weekend is 'unfit' for swimming" due to fecal bacteria levels. The water sample on which the government's findings were based, reports cbc.ca, came from the vicinity of what famous Rio beach?

a.  Chupacabra Beach b.  Cucaracha Beach c.  Cocomambo Beach d.  Copacabana Beach
 
3.  U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky recently "accidentally" broke her own world record in one of the women's Olympic swimming events.  According to bleacherreport.com, she accomplished the feat "despite the race [only] being a preliminary heat at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia."  The article went on to note, "Making the [new] record all the more impressive was that Ledecky wasn't even attempting to swim her best time."  Which swimming event was it?

a.  1,500-meter freestyle b.  200-meter breaststroke
c.  400-meter freestyle d.  200-meter butterfly

To find out how many you got right, click here.

2015/7.2, July 22 -- Eastern Aspiration, Start-Up Options, Yellowstone's Magic and more

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THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        July 22, 2015                                                                                                                                    www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE

     

Eastern Sensibilities                                        


His clients wanted a home that reflected their refined tastes, writes Randy Beard.  The fact that, for a change, others were focused on the challenge of working on a difficult slope freed him to get everything just right with their large spa and understated entryway fountain.   [more]
START-UP DYNAMICS

Picking a Path
 
It's something too few designers or builders consider as pool and spa projects come to a close.  But as Kim Skinner discusses here, the way water is added to a new plaster-, quartz- or pebble-finished pool can make a huge difference in how the watershape will look later on.  [more]
TRAVELOGUE
Nature's Studio

A recent trip to Wyoming brought Jim McCloskey face to face with mind-bending forms of natural beauty.  But as he relates here, Yellowstone National Park is significantly different from others he's visited -- and a must pilgrimage for inspiration-seeking watershape designers.   [more]
ESSENTIAL
Water in Sculpture      

The works of sculptor David Curt Morris often combine moving water with simple yet striking shapes in glass or metal.  His meticulous compositions speak to observers by juxtaposing the kinetic potential of water against static structures -- perhaps something as simple as water flowing over glass surfaces -- to exploit what he calls the 'colors' of water in motion.  It's a philosophy and a design approach that cuts to the essence of what watershaping is all about. 


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in June 2005, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Radiant History

While on the road in Spain, Paolo Benedetti took a quick side-trip and came across some Roman ruins that caught his technical eye.  Here, he discusses what he learned about techniques used in heating swimming pools and large public baths in a remote Roman outpost.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Righting a Hurtful Wrong

A couple months back, an article about restricting access to public pools in Kansas upset Jim McCloskey quite a bit.  His frown turned into a smile, however, when a second story, much more humane, crossed his desk and even gave him a chance to get involved.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Popular Culture Dept.:  The BBC offers an appreciation of swimming pools' prominence in film and literature. [more]
It's great, but also cool that it only scratches the surface.
Concrete, Heal Thyself Dept.:  Dutch scientists mix in a bacteria that lets concrete seal its own cracks.   [more] 
So, maybe a self-filling pothole is next on the list?

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Passion and Practicality                                 
 
Five years back, Bruce Zaretsky used his column to do some personal reflecting and, along the way, defined the effort it can take to balance two key drivers he identified for his business.   [more]  
 

THE SHOPPING CART

 

Waterplay Releases New Splash-Pad Sprays      


Waterplay Manufacturing
(Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) has introduced Puddles, a fresh take on traditional ground sprays that brings the fun of jumping in rain puddles to splash areas.  Designed with a squishy jump pad, the units are now available in three patterns and encourage users to stomp, dance or hop onto the surface to create water effects.  For details, click here.      

Hayward Offers 115V Variable-Speed Replacement Pump    

Hayward Pool Products (Elizabeth, NJ) has introduced the Super Pump VS 115V, a variable-speed pump designed as an easy drop-in replacement for 115V single-speed pumps.  Featuring a permanent-magnet motor, the unit is sized for applications with 1-1/2-inch plumbing and can provide up to 80-percent energy savings over single-speed pumps.  For details, click here.


THE AQUATIC QUIZ
What Do a Japanese Zoo's Elephants
Do After Swimming in Their New Pool?     

By Quizmaster Lenny Giteck

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including  reports connected to the three questions below.


1.  The Fuji Safari Park in Japan has built a 65-meter-long, transparent swimming pool
for the zoo's resident elephants; this allows visitors to observe the huge animals' underwater movements while they swim laps.  According to zoo staff, what activity do the elephants regularly engage in after having swum only three laps a day?

   a. They trumpet loudly for at least five minutes.
   b. They eat much more than they would otherwise.
   c. They shake their bodies vigorously, just like dogs.
   d. They immediately lie down and take a nap.

 
2.  The warden of a prison in Lima, Peru, was fired recently because inmates at his facility enjoyed which of the following benefits (in exchange for illegal fees paid to the guards)?

   a.  Use of a swimming pool b.  Alcoholic beverages at cell-block parties
   c.  Use of cell phones d.  All of the above
 3.  The Kazan Arena, a large football (soccer) stadium in Kazan, Russia, is being temporarily outfitted to host the FINA World Aquatics Championships, which will take place from July 24 to August 9, 2015.  In addition to a new pair of 50-meter aboveground pools, viewing platforms are being constructed to seat how many spectators?
   a.  11,000 b.  21,000 c.  31,000 d.  41,000

To find out how many you got right, click here.

2015/7.1, July 8 -- Illuminating the Classics, Digital Values, Working a Waterfall and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        July 8, 2015                                                                                                                                       www.watershapes.com

 

FEATURE ARTICLE

     

Classic French                                       


Working among the 300-year-old fountains in France's Gardens of Versailles was a bit intimidating, recalls David L'Heureux.  But as he writes here, the delicate process of adding modern LED systems to enhance their nighttime appearance was also inspiring beyond measure.   [more]

DIGITAL DESIGN

A Path to Enlightenment
 
While readily acknowledging that digital-design technology has forever changed his working life, Greg Smith also knows that the software is just one of several tools he uses to communicate the value and extent of what he wants to achieve in his clients' backyards.  [more]
CASCADE CREATION
Rocky Road

Sourcing and wrangling with big rocks for large-scale waterfall projects is seldom simple, notes Eric Triplett.  As he discusses in this video, however, everything ended up going his way in this case, cascading from the top of the hill all the way down the backyard's long slope.  [more]

ESSENTIAL
A Window into Nature     

Microsoft's corporate campus near Seattle has been the birthplace of much of the world's most significant consumer-electronics technology.  When it came time to adorn the ultramodern facility with a watershape of it own, writes Jon Mitovich, the scope and complexity of the system was intended to reflect the scale and grandeur of the world's most famous software company -- and to fit a circumscribed space as though it had been there from time immemorial.


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in February 2003, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


TRAVELOGUE
Olympic Gold

The swimming pools used for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics are reminders of the city's role as one of the world's great sports capitals.  But after decades of use, they needed a facelift -- and as Ron Bravo reports, the updated watershapes are truly worth a visit.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
A Prime-Time Network

So far, writes Jim McCloskey, the most common questions he's been asked about the WaterShapes Professional Network have had to do with its origins -- the whys and wherefores behind this all-new marketing concept for the watershaping community.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Fair's Fair Dept.:  Dutch firm's 'pond dome' gives curious fish a window onto our much broader world.    [more]
Or is the attraction really just the floating food?
Forgive My Obsessions Dept.:  Capybaras enjoy a good, long soak in a Japanese zoo's steaming hot tub.  [more]  
Unlike my kids, they don't fight over using the jets. 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
On the Beam                                
 
Back in 2005, David Tisherman focused his attention on the value of a certain kind of technical support he said he would never be without -- particularly when it came to a popular sort of remodeling project.    [more]  
 

THE SHOPPING CART

 

E55BX Mini-Excavator from New Holland Construction    

Glass Accent Tiles from Lightstreams Glass Tile  

   

Lightstreams Glass Tile (Santa Clara, CA) makes Jewel Glass tiles for use in marking the edges of pool steps, swim shelves and spa benches and as highlights or markers on pool floors and waterlines.  Thick and substantial, the tiles feature complex internal colors and patterns encapsulated in glass.  Bullnose and 90-degree trim pieces are also available.  For details, click here.

THE AQUATIC QUIZ
Which U.S. President Swam Naked
In the Potomac River Every Day?    

By Quizmaster Lenny Giteck

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including  reports connected to the three questions below.


1.  An early U.S. president was known to swim nude in the Potomac River every morning.  During one of these swims, an amusing 'Encounter of the First Kind' took place with Anne Royall, America's first female reporter.  The usaswimming.com article includes the following juicy historical tidbit:

One of the most interesting characters in American history, [Royall] had been requesting an interview with the president for months and was tired of being stonewalled.  So, early one summer's morn, she went down to the Potomac and hid in the bushes, waited for the president to strip off his clothes, then revealed herself.  She then sat on his clothes, refusing to budge until the president granted her request.  
Who was the commander-in-chief-in-the-buff?
 
a.  George Washington b.  Thomas Jefferson
c.  James Madison d.  John Quincy Adams

2.  Bruiser Bear, an adorable 18-month-old cub at the nonprofit Single Vision animal sanctuary in Melrose, Fla., loves to climb the ladder to an aboveground pool at the facility, jump in, swim around and 'surf' on a surfboard in the pool.  According to abc11.com, what kind of brown bear is Bruiser?
a.  American brown bear b.  Chinese brown bear
c.  Syrian brown bear d.  Russian brown bear
 3.  A former member of a U.S. university's men's swimming team has filed a lawsuit against five of his teammates over alleged hazing.  The swimmer, reports abcnews.go.com, says 'he feared for his life because their hazing was so extreme.'  What university was he attending?  
a.  University of Michigan b.  University of Virginia
c.  University of Arizona d.  University of Florida

To find out how many you got right, click here.
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